Peretz exits Labour to join Livni’s new party

Amir Peretz in Parliament on December 3 (Photo: Flash 90)

Amir Peretz in Parliament on December 3 (Photo: Flash 90)

The former leader of Israel’s Labour party Amir Peretz has left Labour and joined Tzipi Livni’s new centre-left Hatnuah party, just hours before the deadline for registering candidates for January’s elections.

Former Israeli defence minister Mr Peretz was in third place on Labour’s list for the upcoming elections. He now takes third place on the Hatnuah list after Ms Livni and another former Labour leader, Amram Mitzna.

At a press conference announcing the news, Mr Peretz spoke of his support for peace, and cited the experience of his Moroccan family as an example of peoples living side by side. "My father, who lived with Arabs in Morocco, always asked me why we couldn't make peace with them here," he said.

Mr Peretz, whose key focuses are seen as social justice and the peace process, fell out with Labor leader Shelly Nachimovich this week because she would not emphasise the party’s commitment to the peace process.

Last updated: 12:19pm, December 6 2012